Voluntary certification and real quality

Research publications concerning biodynamics
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Voluntary certification and real quality

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Voluntary certification systems in the EU wine sector: How to recognise quality and be safe from confusion

Silvia Rolandi and Andrea Saba

Abstract. In recent years there has been a signi cant growth in voluntary certi cation schemes eld in wine sector, by following a general trend that has characterised agricultural products and foodstuffs. The voluntary certi cation system is aimed at adding value to products, while differentiating it on the related market. The paper presents the preliminary results of a work-in-progress research on the voluntary certi cation schemes in the Italian wine sector. Through a case-study analysis, the paper is aimed at highlighting the emerging implementation issues. The scope of the case-studies is limited to three voluntary certi cation schemes, which underlie similarities with the organic wine farming and operate at business-to-consumer level. The paper is divided in three parts. Part I will examine the relevant legal framework on wine quality standards, by framing the legislation in mandatory, regulatory and voluntary. Part II will consider three case-studies of voluntary certi cation schemes that are imple- mented in the Italian wine sector. Part III will analyse the emerging issues that arise from the analysis of the case-studies. In conclusion, the paper highlights the key challenge, which concerns nding a trade-off between consumer protection and the promotion of free trade in an openly competitive market.